Friends of the Great Green Macaw, Inc



Newsletter 24                                         2984 Triverton Pike Drive

Vol..4, #3                            [email protected]                           Madison, WI 53711

May/June 2005                                                                               



From The President


Saludos a todos (greetings to all),


As you may have noted from the previous newsletter, I am now assuming the duties of President for the Rainforest Biodiversity Group (formerly Friends of the Great Green Macaw) in the U.S. My vision for the organization focuses on dissemination of information, and fundraising efforts to support local conservation projects and the Association Amigos de la Lapa Verde in the Northern Zone of Costa Rica. I also hope to find a way to continue the volunteer program. Though we currently lack the resources to manage volunteers at this time, we can serve as a volunteer labor resource for other organizations working in the San Juan - La Selva corridor which already have the capacity to support volunteers. We will also be changing the newsletter to a quarterly schedule, though intermittent updates may be sent out between newsletters, so keep posted for new developments.


I feel it important to involve as many participants as possible in the organization, in order to apply the knowledge and experience that others may contribute to the progress of the Rainforest Biodiversity Group and our goals. I welcome your comments and advice regarding all aspects of conservation and organizational management. Also, if anyone would like to formally join our Board of Directors as an Advisory Member we would gladly receive your involvement. Please write a letter of interest and the current Board will review the request and make the final decision.


I look forward to the rest of this year, with inspiration and hope that the efforts of all who work for conservation of the precious forests of Costa Rica will bring the change desperately needed. Your convictions and support can make a difference. Thank you for your participation.






Harmony Christine Patricio







By Bobbie Webster

I proudly consider myself a "founding member" of Friends of the Great Green Macaw/Rainforest Biodiversity Group (RBG). I began involvement in the organization in 2000 after my first trip to Costa Rica, where I formally met Andrew our founder. The trip to Costa Rica inspired me to study natural resources and to join Friends of the Great Green Macaw when invited by Andrew. The new organization was exciting to be a part of. It brought together and motivated a variety of people from academic professionals to students, from Ticos to birdwatchers all over the U.S. The organization has accomplished many things to be proud of and continues to do so. I am amazed by the networks that RBG has established in Costa Rica and the U.S. I have tried to be active since I joined, and I served as secretary for a short time, which I am now handing over to Blair Bumgarner.

Biodiversity has been a central theme of concern of our group. But as this group's momentum in the U.S has slowed, I return to the question of how do Great Green Macaws fit into the larger picture of protecting biodiversity? Naturally, concern for Great Green Macaws should lead to concern for neo-tropical migratory birds, who share habitat with them, or vice versa. I am interested in expanding on this through RBG because I think it would link more North Americans with Central America. Even for me, who has been to Costa Rica and seen the beautiful Great Greens, it can be difficult to fundraise and do educational outreach on a bird that most people will never see. We as members of RBG know that our reach extends beyond the Great Green Macaw, which is partly why we changed the group's name. But does the average person understand this connection? I think there is definitely room for more education and outreach in this area.

There was talk of trying to get funding to publish a special bird guide of neo-tropical migratory birds specific to Costa Rica, although something like this may exist already. There was also talk of hosting some birding activities in Wisconsin. I would still like to see these things happen. Even more than this, I would like to see the birding trail idea become a reality. RBG has a good start on the concept; we need to continue work on this, including building more financial and ideological support. I think that making the link between Central and North America more distinct is an important part of building support for the bird trail.

In September I return to UWSP as a graduate student in Natural Resources. I will be studying forestry and looking at regeneration of white pines. And of course I will be contemplating how our Wisconsin forests and wildlife relate with those in Central America.

I hope to be able to add something to the goals and mission of RBG in the future. And I hope that our members continue supporting the organization as well. All of the political and environmental issues and causes can be overwhelming, but little things do add up and just because we can't accomplish everything we want doesn't mean we shouldn't at least try.

Keep in touch!

Bobbie Webster

RBG News and Notes

By Andrew Rothman

The National Forest Service has taken an interest in the point-count bird surveys we have conducted in Costa Rica. The Forest Service employee helped us crunch the data we had collected at Finca El Retorno in 2000 and 2001. The National Forest Service may use our data in an upcoming report on neo-tropical migrants. We will let you know if and when the report comes out.

We will be putting this bird survey data, along with other volunteer project reports on our website in the near future as we are again updating our website.

Speaking of National Forests and Point-Count Bird Surveys, Andrew Rothman, Founder and Vice President, has been working again in Plumas National Forest in Northern California for Point Reyes Bird Observatory counting song birds.

The Costa Rican Bird Route remains a focus for RBG. We are currently without funds to hire a project director to further develop the project on the ground in Costa Rica. A paid director would finalize a pilot route, and begin to develop marketing materials and work closely with local landowners. With a director we would also be able to re-establish our assume the role of director.

The Adopt-A-Tree program continues and has been very popular with local landowners and conservationists alike in Costa Rica. More trees are ready to be adopted and more money has already been raised. You too can help to adopt a tree for as little as $100. This money goes directly to keeping Great Green Macaw nests protected. We appreciate your assistance.


Here we will note items or things that would be of great use to RBG. Please let us know if you can help provide them. Each item will receive a value that can be used as a tax-deduction.

The Wish List:
Color Printer Computer (laptop or desktop)
Digital Camera
Pad Locks
Office Supplies (Manila and regular envelopes, printer paper, pens, pencils, etc)

Thanks for your help!!!


2984 Triverton Pike Drive
Madison, WI 53711
[email protected]